Progress Made In Crossbore Avoidance, Discovery

Dealing With Crossbores
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | August 2010 Vol. 65 No. 8

Education is the key to finding solutions to prevent crossbores, Bruce believes. The CBSA was formed in 2007 to develop standards and guidelines to minimize the risk of crossbores and to develop and implement training and educational programs toward that goal. Bruce is also president of Can Clay Corp., manufacturer of clay pipe.

“Early efforts of the CBSA were to bring awareness to the potential for damage, injury and death from crossbores,” said Bruce “Although the awareness of crossbores is now fairly widespread, continuing efforts are being made to widen the awareness.”

This year CBSA has conducted numerous presentations at trade shows and industry events.

Several significant events have occurred in 2010. “In April,” said Bruce, “the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety invited participation in a meeting of 75 persons that was organized shortly after two explosions occurred in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. In May, six perspectives of crossbore prevention were given at the 2010 No-Dig Conference. Canadian and U.S. utilities highlighted their programs, contractors discussed solutions and new technologies were presented.

“A CBSA meeting in Chicago in May included consideration of opportunities for improving crossbore safety and education programs. Studies of the cost effectiveness of prevention and elimination of crossbores were discussed at the meeting. Results have shown overall cost reductions when crossbore elimination programs are established by utilities. While safety of industry personnel and the public has and continues to be the main discussion point, damage to sewers has been a growing concern, especially among sewer owners. EPA requirements are driving sewer owners to control any over flows into streams and crossbores affect the integrity of sewers.”

He also noted that CBSA recently has increased efforts to share the ideas about solutions.

“Technically proven methods have been available for the last decade, and equipment is becoming better and more efficient,” he explained. “More importantly, competent practices and processes are becoming more widespread. The danger in having incomplete processes and lack of good records, quality assurance and quality control are more widely recognized. Utilities and contractors are acting by using newer technologies in ways to ensure they fit into a comprehensive process that will eliminate new incidents and address legacy crossbores.”